Friday, May 15, 2009

Wolfram Alpha "a new kind of research helper"

Wolfram Alpha

New York Times article
April 28, 2009, 6:28 pm — Updated: 12:54 am

The Veil Is Lifted From Wolfram Alpha

By Miguel Helft

"Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine.

In a talk at Harvard Law School, Stephen Wolfram, a well-known mathematician, scientist and entrepreneur, gave a demonstration of his soon-to-be released Web service which promises to answer all sorts of questions. The service, called Wolfram Alpha, had technology bloggers abuzz that a rival to Google was about to hit the Web."

YouTube the demo that Stephen Wolfram gave at Harvard in late April 2009

Print and digital collection preservation

Association of Research Libraries: “Safeguarding Collections at the Dawn of the 21st Century.”

"The report is organized into three thematic sections:

  1. Reshaping the preservation functions in research libraries—Libraries must reconceptualize preservation as a core function that extends beyond activities within a preservation department. As preservation is advanced through a range of investments and partnerships, libraries are in the midst of reshaping priorities and reallocating resources to align with new services and conceptions of collections.

  2. The networked digital environment—ARL members need to expand their activities and deepen their practices related to preserving digital content though Web archiving, deployment of digital repositories, and efforts to preserve e-journals and other born digital content (whether purchased, licensed, or digitized by the library).

  3. Library collaborative strategies—Community-level activities are crucial, both to address the challenges presented by digital formats, but also to make traditional preservation activities more effective."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Google Search advances

May 12, 2009, 4:54 pm (New York Times)
Data, Not Design, Is King in the Age of Google
Published: May 9, 2009
(former top visual designer at Google deplores design changes because of user feedback)
"CAN a company blunt its innovation edge if it listens to its customers too closely? Can its products become dull if they are tailored to match exactly what users say they want? These questions surfaced recently when Douglas Bowman, a top visual designer, left Google."
May 12, 2009, 4:54 pm (New York Times)
Google Revs Up Some New Search Features
"Google unveiled a grab bag of enhancements to its Web search engine and new experimental features on Tuesday that aim to keep the company ahead of rivals. The new features include Google’s first significant effort not only to find information on the Web but also to understand some of that information and present it in new ways. Google’s engineers showcased an experimental feature called Google Squared that extracts information from the Web and displays it in a table..." more

Friday, May 8, 2009

Updates on Google Books

A few brief articles about what is happening with Google Books:

Corner Office: Google's Dan Clancy
As the Google Book Search settlement deadline looms, the company's point man talks about pricing, orphan works, and the role of libraries
By Andrew Richard Albanese & Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 5/1/2009

Snags Hit Google Settlement With Authors and Publishers, and Antitrust Worries Rise
Jennifer Howard - Wired Campus, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2009.

Library Associations Ask Judge to Assert Vigorous Oversight of Proposed Google Book Search Settlement
ARL (Association of Research Libraries) - Press Releases & Announcements, May 4, 2009